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February 13, 2016


Research—Disease Control in Shrimp Farming


From Abstract: This study investigated the knowledge, practices and challenges of tilapia and shrimp farmers (Penaeus vannamei) when preventing and controlling diseases through the use of antimicrobials and other compounds in Guangdong Province, China, which is the most important shrimp and tilapia production area in China.  Of the 30 shrimp farms surveyed, 19 experienced outbreaks of red body disease and five experienced whitespot syndrome, both viral diseases, and five experienced “secret death disease” [AHPND/EMS], which farmers controlled by application a variety of disinfectants, probiotics and vitamins.  Most of the farmers reported they did not use antimicrobials to treat shrimp disease.  All farmers applied disinfectants and probiotics to control pond water quality, although the efficacy of this practice is not known.


Farmers prepared their own medicated feed by mixing antimicrobial water-based solutions and feed pellets with their bare hands, having little awareness of the associated health hazards.  This practice, especially when drugs with inferior quality are used, could lead to using sub-therapeutic antimicrobial concentrations with the subsequent risks of treatment failure and resistance development.


Farmers stated lower costs and stricter regulation on antimicrobial usage as reasons for the popularity of probiotics.  Farmers also reported the use of herbal extracts for disease control and water quality improvements, partly because of the low number of reported negative side effects and no antimicrobial residue problems.  Local chemical supply shops, with representatives that often visit the farms, were important sources of information that farmers used when diagnosing and treating diseases.  Farmers also relied on their own experience and current practices of chemical use—which do not seem to be cost-effective.  Thus, government, academia and the private sector should cooperate in private-public partnerships to improve advisory services and offer training to farmers, particularly in the prudent and efficient use of antimicrobials and other compounds.  Approval procedures and legislation of products used in aquaculture should be strengthened and enforced to ensure that farmers have access to quality and efficient agents for disease control.


Source: Aquaculture.  Management Measures to Control Diseases Reported by Tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) and Whiteleg Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) Farmers in Guangdong, China.  Kang Lia, Liping Liua (email, Key Laboratory of Freshwater Fishery Germplasm Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai 201306, China), Jesper Hedegaard Clausen, Maixin Lu and Anders Dalsgaard.  In Press, Available Online, February 6, 2016.

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